Film Review of movie "Iraqi Odyssey " and I experienced Nostalgia

Film Review of Swiss nominated movie "Iraqi Odyssey "as the country’s official foreign-language Oscar entry


By:  Afshan Naheed Hashmi, PhD, C(ASCP), RAC


Hello Readers,

Bollywood, Hollywood and film personalities around the globe have always fascinated me as they are very creative people.

I love Creativity and Innovation.  My first book: The Modern Mughal Mentality: New Strategies to Succeed in India and the Global Marketplace ) is about Jugaad, a Hindi buzzword  in today's western world about Creativity and Innovation My book is  already a best-seller on Amazon in a category as well as Hot #1 New release in a category..

On November 6 2015, I had the opportunity to attend special screening of Swiss- nominated movie "Iraqi Odyssey"  as the country’s official foreign-language entry for Academy Awards. the screening was held at AFI Silver Theatre.   


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The movie will be released in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 27 before expanding nationwide in 2016. Autlook Filmsales is handling worldwide sales. This film is a co-production between Switzerland, Germany and UAE.

In September 2014.  Iraqi Odyssey received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie won the best Asian film award and the NETPAC award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and the Panorama audience award at the Berlin Film Festival.

The five films nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar will be revealed on Jan. 14. The Oscar awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 28. (

Typecast Films will release the English-language version of the film in theaters, while the version that has qualified as the Swiss Oscar entry is in German. Typecast Films has acquired U.S. rights to the documentary.

Besides  describing his family's saga of how they have left Iraq in Iraqi Odyssey; Samir also reports how Iraqi dreams  of constructing  a modern nation has been shattered. It has been estimated that four to five million Iraqis live outside Iraq today. Samir's  family members are living around the globe -Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Sydney, Los Angeles, Buffalo, London, Paris, Zurich, and Moscow. Only very few of his family members live in Iraq . Bringing together the poignant, thoughtful and  sharp statements of Samir's relatives including  rare documents from private and state archives, Ottoman film footage and 3D technology the film is wonderfully made.

I give this movie 5 Stars!

I had the opportunity to meet that day award-winning filmmaker Samir  who was born in Baghdad and has lived in Switzerland since he was a child.   


The movie gave me lot of nostalgia. My dad  Prof. A.Majid Siddiqi who is no more with me today was a renowned biochemist. To know more about my dad please visit the following links:


My dad was hired to help in establishing Biochemistry department in Medical College of Basrah, Iraq. While seeing the movie I was remembering the time I had spend with my dad in Basrah in 1978 when I was a kid..  There were moments when I was weeping also. The film had a big impact on me. When my dad was in Iraq I visited him from India for three months only. But those three months came alive while seeing this movie. Thanks a lot Samir for making this wonderful movie. Also I want to give special  'Thank  You', to Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C., for hosting a wonderful reception after the movie. I relived my Basrah days that evening. I talked to Samir about it. I even remembered although I am from India but people in Iraq used to think because of my looks that I am from Iraq. Those times in Basrah Raj Kapoor the famous Bollywood star was very popular (

To see some moments of Nov 6 .2015 Q and A  with Filmmaker Samir please visit the following link:

Some photographs of the moments of Nov 6 screening of Iraqi Odyssey taken by me:

Here is the link of the photographs taken by Bruce Guthrie:

Trailer of the movie:

To know more about the film please visit the following link:


DIR/SCR/PROD Samir; PROD Werner Schweizer. Switzerland/Germany/UAE, 2014, color, 162 min, DCP. In Arabic, English, German and Russian with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Cheers from your loving Author!

Dr. Afshan Naheed Hashmi



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